Trinidad and Tobago
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Who scratched Israel?

Letters to the Editor
Newsday Israel Khan, SC -
Israel Khan, SC -

THE EDITOR: So after the recent furore, Christine Kangaloo received the maximum votes (48) she could have realistically expected. It would seem that none of the Independent senators were swayed by the antics of the Opposition and its supporters.

A total of 48 votes would suggest that the Government’s 22 MPs, its 16 senators, including the Senate President, the House Speaker and, most importantly and significantly, the nine Independent senators appointed by the President voted in favour of Kangaloo, resulting in an overwhelming majority and victory.

The perceived endorsement by all Independent senators is a powerful statement, confirming the status of the President-elect.

So the people have spoken I would say emphatically. We followed the Constitution under which we operate and this is the result. So this begs the question: Who did not vote for the Opposition nominee Israel Khan?

Albeit he did himself no favours. He was quoted as saying (in an interview), “I do not have a snowball of a chance in hell to be elected President.” He also claimed that “I have the unanimous support of all the Members of Parliament of the UNC.”

So another question is: Why did such a respected and knowledgeable attorney and public figure even considered accepting the nomination in the first place?

Another question begging to be answered is: Who scratched Khan? This has to be considered as a “tipping” point on the Opposition Leader and her fellow MPs.

One may try to hoodwink the population by saying a “scratch vote” is an error or a mistake. But basically it is akin to not voting since the voting process is so simple an infant can do it. However, in this instance three grown-ups used the opportunity to send a powerful message to the Opposition.

After all, Kangaloo acted as President on 33 occasions during the period 2015-2022 and I do not think there were any issues with her performance. So if common sense would have prevailed then she would have been easily endorsed as the new President.

From the moment the Prime Minister announced Kangaloo as the Government’s presidential nomination there was a big hue and cry. The Opposition “put up” their own candidate. All 22 MPS on the Government side endorsed the nomination of Kangaloo, while apparently 16 of the 19 MPs on the Opposition side endorsed the nomination of its candidate – early signs of all not being well in the camp. The UNC received 22 votes out of a possible maximum of 25 – 19 sitting MPs and six senators appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.

Congratulations to our new President and I look forward to Her Excellency conducting the affairs of our country in a professional manner and to the best of her ability. That’s all I ask and that’s all our people should expect.


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